Beowulf was a noble warrior growing up. He was courageous, powerful, and greatly known for his swimming match against Breca. He was dedicated, loyal, and had a reputation for those qualities. He continued to represent that as he grew older, and his defeat of Grendel, and Grendel’s mother, shows that. He gained a lot of guidance from Hrothgar, who was like a father to him. He defeated the fire-breathing dragon, and lost his life in the process.
The gladiator, however, was in a different time with totally different environments. Maximus, the gladiator, was a general in the Roman army. He lead his soldiers to victory in 180 AD, ending a prolonged war. This gained respect from emperor Marcus Aurelius. Aurelius then decided, because of this, to appoint Maximus the new leader of Rome, but Maximus respectfully declined. The offer upset the son of Aurelius, Commodus, leading to Commodus killing his father, gaining the throne, and then forcing Maximus into slavery. Maximus then leads the gladiator to multiple victories, and ultimately defeats Commodus in the end- losing both of their lives.
Beowulf and the Gladiator both fought for what they believed in. People depended on them, and they lived up to that with their loyalty, and perseverance. They were both respected for the dedication they put into helping people, and they were trusted for that. Death wasn’t a stopping factor for either one of them, because they knew they were needed for something greater. They did, however, differ in their circumstances. Gladiator was forced into slavery, and forced to fight. Although, he did want to defeat Commodus. While, Beowulf chose to battle his opponents for honor.
Generally, when we think of an epic hero, wethink of selflessness, humility, courage, and fearless. Both Beowulf, and Maximus, are selfless. They fight for the greater good, and they do it for the people who depend on them. They are both, also, courageous & fearless. It takes a lot to step up to the plate, and put your life at risk, which they both did. They both ultimately do what is best for the people around them, and do so because they care. But it seems more so that Maximus defines humble more so than Beowulf. Beowulf longed for his fame, and he wanted people to know what he did to help them. As to where Maximus did so because it was right, and honest.
They both represent an epic hero differently in their stories, but they were both heroes, nevertheless. They gave their lives, in their stories, to something bigger than themselves. Fictional or not, they represent good qualities to obtain when it comes to leadership. Make your intent to make the world a better place for the people around you. Focus on your behavior, and how to react to things, rather than the amount of wins or loses. Learn yourself, and reflect your own character, not how other people make you feel. If you’re wanting to be a leader, and fight for other people, then gain those qualities and fulfill it with purpose. You are made by the path you choose, not the power you’re given.